Blizzard Support

  By Shamus   Jul 3, 2008   26 comments

As a counterpoint to the post earlier today:

My brother signed up for WoW this afternoon. He called in to upgrade from trial to full account, and was very happy with how things went. The woman on the phone was uncharacteristically eager and cheerful and even bantered with him a bit. He sounded as through the experience may even have been uplifting.

He got the same story: It’s much easier to simply run to the store than to upgrade a trial account. (That is, ignoring the trip to the store.) He didn’t mind, and in fact ran out and got the fancy edition that includes Burning Crusade and strategy guides and whatnot.

And now he’s home, and will spend the rest of the evening downloading patches.

Sigh.

20626 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.


  1. Kaneohe says:

    Jeez…WoW addiction is contagious, then?

  2. Alexis says:

    Contagious like bowling, yes.

  3. Nihil says:

    *checks About page*

    Good, you have children already. The Young family will not go extinct this generation.

  4. Robert says:

    Oh, they might still go extinct. Kid having seizure in front room, dad dully calling out “ok, I’ll take you to the emergency room in a minute, let me just ding 23…”

  5. Allen says:

    Hahaha, you’re gonna get EVERYBODY addicted to the damned game! I made a rogue on Kirin Tor, that I can’t recall the name of, offhand.

    Also, as for Blizzard’s CSRs… Wow. I’ve never had more fun talking to in-game GMs, handling problems with out of game supervisors(by phone, email, text-based chat), than with any other game. It’s better, even, than the old EQ Devs on the Test Server, who were, most of the time, cheerful, helpful and resourceful.

    WoW’s GMs are more than eager to jump into miniature roleplay, and play along… Even when I’m just messingaround.

    I think the GMs secretly hate me. Always stalling on the /hugs. D:

  6. Eric Rossing says:

    I just installed WoW on a new computer today. While waiting for the 9 CDs (5 WoW, 4 BC) to load, I was able to download the patch files.

    The WoWWiki Patches page has a lot of links to the various patch files. I recommend doing it this way rather than letting the Blizzard updater download them.

  7. Bogan the Mighty says:

    I bet you can’t wait until the newest expansion comes on Shamus and we all get to do it all over again.

  8. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    You just did this cause I plugged your sight to her

  9. Matt says:

    WoW is extremely addictive, I have gotten at least 8 friends (two of which were my roommates for a while) addicted to this game, and probably more.
    By the way, strategy guides for MMOs are never very useful, since MMOs change very often.

  10. ArchU says:

    I guess the store isn’t that far. Would walking be easier again? [/moron]

    That’s kind of bad when a game update system has that kind of failure feature. I don’t remember crap like that happening when I played Eve Online – all the updates came at once when logging in, then only one game restart once it had downloaded. Even the updater for old non-MMORPGs like Neverwinter Nights (yes, the first one) is more advanced.

  11. neminem says:

    Yup, I got the same impression – when I wanted to upgrade, I definitely just went to an actual store, and bought a physical disc. Which, as it turns out, was all kinds of good idea, because a. it was 20 bucks cheaper than upgrading to the full version and then separately to Burning Crusade, and b. when my computer ate it, and I wanted to play WoW, I had a physical disc to reinstall on my old computer with, instead of having to download like 5 gigs first.

    And yes, it came with free “strategy” guides. They were pretty much complete wastes of paper.

  12. Arkmagius says:

    ArchU:

    I assume you meant the SECOND Neverwinter Nights, the one by Bioware. The first Neverwinter Nights was an MMORPG from, what, fifteen years ago?

    Sorry, I had to say it.

    But you’re right, the Bioware NWN patcher was excellent. The reason it was so great, however, was it had a patch from every version to every version, meaning one easy file; this is something not really feasible with the number of patches on MMOs.

  13. Kevin says:

    I recently had to reinstall from zero due to a corruption in my game. All of the patches together took about 45 minutes… if that… to finish. I have an upgraded internet connection, but is that enough to make that much difference? Why do the patches normally take so long?

  14. C David Dent says:

    I’ve been following this thread of your experiences (and everyone else’s) on Wow and despite all the stuff (good and bad) I’m not going to cave in and try it.

    My wife and I spend a lot of time online (a LOT) of time. I read a lot, and write some. I keep up with politics and gaming and …you get the idea. She moderates. Three (or is it four? I asked…she says two) boards now for online games. And if I was to bring that game into the house it would mean we’d never see each other again except online.

    As a reformed smoker, I know this urge. There are days I want to smoke so badly I’d give my left .. kidney…to have a cigarette, but I know what that would mean. I’d be back to my 1/2 a pack a day habit (and that’s all it ever was) faster than you could download World of Warcraft. Seriously. And Wow is the same think. I want to play…want to see what it is like, but the little addiction warning lights go up and it keeps me honest.

    Nope, no WoW for me. I’ll just play 4e D&D and the Serenity RPG and leave it at that.

  15. ArchU says:

    #15, Arkmagius: Yes, smartass, the second one (as opposed to NWN2). Does anybody else remember the original? I can remember playing Hillsfar once…yikes…

  16. Joshua says:

    Never played the original NWN, but I had a roommate who had. I had played many of the original Gold Box games though, including Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, all three X of Krynn, and Heroes of the Lance. Anyone remember other old games like the original Bard’s Tale or Knights of Legend?

    BTW, here’s the link to the original NWN:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights_(AOL_game)

  17. Luke Maciak says:

    This sort of reinforces my point about not allowing trial accounts to be upgraded online. This way they cut down on hijacked zombie trials, and useless tech support calls.

    Sigh… Maybe I am overreacting to the situation.

  18. Veekie says:

    *Looks at the last 12 posts*

    Guys, I think we’ve lost Shamus to WoWCrack.

  19. Smileyfax says:

    I’d never get WoW (I’m uber stingy), but I’ve been inspired by the recent spat of posts on the matter to go back into Second Life.

    It’s been quite fun so far. One woman showed me a store that sold giant goldfish. She said she didn’t need to buy any, and I asked her if she knew Summon Bigger Fish. Sadly, she didn’t get the reference.

  20. Zerotime says:

    I quit WoW almost two years ago, and swore up and down that I’d never go back to it. You’re really not making this easy, Shamus.

  21. Katy says:

    I also had trouble getting an upgrade online. Apparently, Blizzard likes to flag credit cards just because they’re being used for an online purchase – that’s the story my credit card company gave me. They’ve had a lot of problems (not just with WoW) with kids stealing their parents’ credit cards, etc. If anything at all is wonky with your credit card, such as having a parent co-authorized or having a billing address different from the zip code from which your IP address accesses the site, then Blizzard gets nervous and flags your credit card.

    I ended up going to the store. For what it’s worth, this is (one of) the best money/hour rates for fun that money can buy for gamers. I’ve played this game for a good 9 or 10 whole days leveling up a rogue. That’s like a couple of quarters an hour. If one can’t be bothered to go to the store to get the game because of Blizzard’s admittedly broken online subscription system, and somehow think that having fun most other ways is cheaper and will give you “future profit”, then that person is just trying poorly to rationalize his own laziness. That’s his prerogative, I guess.

  22. mark says:

    I’ve quit it due to boredom, probably caused by prolonged and incurable Altitis. I cant get a character past 30 or so without getting bored.

    Now i play city of heroes, where there is very little end-game content, and its all about having fun while leveling.

    I make new characters all the time, and theyre so quick to level, i can delete them if i dont like the concept/powerset after a few levels, without feeling like its a waste.

  23. Kennet says:

    So is now a good time to mention the fact that in all my 3 years of playing Guild Wars, I never had to wait more that a couple of minutes for the game to update the client before I could play? The rest of the patch would be downloaded while playing.

    I prefer not to sound like the Guild Wars fanboy that I am, but I just thought I would mention that :)

  24. Radio Babylon says:

    i just dont get it. i bought WoW. i played WoW for the free month. i cancelled WoW and put it on the shelf.

    what the heck is it about that game that is so addictive to people? because whatever it is, i sure didnt see it. it was boring, slow, repetitive, and worst of all filled with other people.

    i have since been talked into re-activating my account twice by friends who no longer had any free time for real social activities because they spent it all on WoW. “oh, its so much better now than it was before, you have to try it again!” and each time, it took about two days to realize, no… no, it ISNT any better, its still exactly the same. boring, slow, repetitive, and yes still filled with other people. except they were actually more stupid and annoying each successive time, which i wouldnt have believed possible.

    ive tried to understand, but i still just dont get it…

  25. Darnon says:

    For a clean install or reinstall, just downloading the patches from somewhere like Filefront.com is usually a lot faster than waiting for Blizzard’s distributed download system. Just download the latest full patch (2.4.0) and the two incremental patches (as of currently 2.4.2). On a high speed connection even the massive 2.4.0 patch takes only 10-20 minutes and then you just have to wait for the update to be installed.
    Although it would be nicer if the launcher could figure out a bit more direct updating method. I’ve seen it download the full 2.3.0 patch, patch up to 2.3.2 or 2.3.3 (whichever the last one was), and then the 2.4.0 patch and its own two incremental patches. That took a lot of babysitting.
    While 2.4.0 was the last big content patch of TBC before the Anger of the Undead Monarch comes out, I believe similar large patches will often get pieces downloaded automatically in the background before the patch hits so you don’t have to download as much.

  26. Steve C says:

    @Luke Maciak
    You aren’t overreacting Luke. If clicking the upgrade button had brought up a page that said, “Blizzard has had problems with the abuse of this service. We will try and make the upgrade now if you wish to continue, but make no promises it will be successful. Upgrading from a store bought copy will be successful and has other benefits such as discs/manual. Do you wish to continue? YES/NO”…

    What would you have done Luke? Would you have spent 20 mins on the phone with 2 ultimately unhelpful Blizzard employees, and spent more time after writing up what an unpleasant experience you had, or would you have spent that 20 mins running to the store and now be a paying Blizzard customer?

    Blizzard fails repeatedly on the simple customer service issues. I like WoW, but it’s the biggest problem I have with them and so many of the bad customer service experiences are so avoidable that it’s sad. What’s stupid is that so many fixes to provide good service would require -less- time and resources than Blizzard already does to provide bad service.

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